Day 22: SLAMbassadors Showcase

Thursday 22 June:  7-9pm @ Free Word Centre To celebrate the culmination of their spoken word youth workshops in Islington, The Poetry Society present a talent-packed evening of new work by SLAMbassadors hosted by the irrepressible SLAM legend – Joelle Taylor – who will also perform a headline set.  

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Day 21: Word Association…National Writing Day

Wednesday 21 June: National Writing Day aims to inspire people across the UK to discover the pleasure and power of writing. Today, First Story invite you to enjoy  a whole programme of activities and events focused on writing. Poems, stories, letters, raps, songs, scripts and more – we want schools, libraries, writing groups and communities across the country to experience the pleasure of writing creatively. Discover your story and make your voice heard this National Writing Day.

Royal Society of Literature presents Why Writing Matters 7pm @ British Library: Marking the first ever National Writing Day, children’s novelist, poet and performer Michael Rosen speaks about the power of writing, especially the need for creativity in the school curriculum. To open the event, London school pupils will read some of the work they have produced during the day. [Sold out]

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Week 4: Free Word of the Week

19-25  June 2017: Broaden your lexical horizons during the festival by spotting Free Words of the Week around the borough – or join in by putting them on display where you work! There will be a new word for every week of the festival tying into its wellbeing themes. Go to to find out more and to sign up for weekly posters.

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Week 4: Word Associations… Refugee Week

19-25 June 2o17: Refugee Week – Different Pasts Shared Futures 

Refugee Week is celebrated in the UK each year to coincide with World Refugee Day on 20 June.  It is a unique opportunity to celebrate the positive contributions that refugees and asylum seekers make to the UK and to promote understanding about why people seek sanctuary. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. This year the theme is Different Pasts Shared Future.

Islington refugee and migrant communities bring to the borough a wealth of culture and Refugee Week events help highlight this whilst emphasising refugee issues, and delivering positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees, through arts, cultural and educational events.

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Day 18: Cally Festival : )

Sunday 18 June 12-6pm: Story Street @ Cally Festival 

Story Street is part of the Cally Festival, a huge one-day street party on the Caledonian Road.

Presented by Word Festival’s very own poet-in-residence Paul Lyalls, Story Street will see storytelling, poetry, rap, spoken word and readings with performances from local people and well-known poets and storytellers – including Thornhill Primary School, Key Changes, Rhymes with Oranges, Joshua Siegal and more. Come and pull up a hay bale and enjoy the show!

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Day 17: Jacqueline Ayer: Drawing on Thailand

Saturday 17 June (runs until 22 October – open Tuesday -Sunday 10am-6pm) at House of IllustrationJacqueline Ayer’s picture books were a remarkable addition to children’s literature in 1960s America and the UK. Documenting the back lanes of Bangkok, they brought a bold vision of Asian life to the western market at a time when diverse cultures were not authentically portrayed.

Two of her five ground-breaking picture books will be reissued for the first time since 1959 by US publisher Enchanted Lion Books, to coincide with the exhibition: ‘Nu Dang and His Kite’ and ‘The Paper Flower Tree’.

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Day 17: Make/Draw/Discuss

Saturday 17 June: 

11am-1pm & 2-4pm – Someone Special – at Finsbury Park Trust 225-229 Seven Sisters Road N4 2DA Join local author, illustrator and paper engineer John O’Leary, and artist Irma Irsara for a hands-on family event that combines pop-up design, illustration and wordplay. Make your very own pop-up creations on the theme of ‘Someone Special’. Learn basic mechanisms and how to develop them into more complex designs, all in easy-to-follow steps. The workshops are free and all materials are supplied – just bring your creativity! Suitable for children 5 and upwards along with parents and carers.

1-5pm: Book Cover Design Adult Masterclass @ House of Illustration Learn how to create a dynamic book cover layout using paper cutting and other illustration techniques. £35 full price £30 concession

2-5pm Spoken Word, Mental Health & Activism for SLAMbassadors @ WORD – The Poetry Society cafe  Join us for an afternoon discussing how poetry can bring about positive change in self-care practice and political strategizing.  Our panel of performers and poets, including Hussain Manawer, Deanna Rodger & Cecilia Knapp will be talking ‘Spoken Word, Mental Health & Activism’. This event will be chaired by Nazmia Jamal.

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